Around 20 local businesses have pre-registered to work with renewable energy developers Burcote Wind and ERG on their consented Sandy Knowe Wind Farm in Upper Nithsdale.
The developers, alongside the Dumfries & Galloway Chamber of Commerce and Dumfries and Galloway College hosted a Business Breakfast in November last year which invited interested local businesses to discuss procurement opportunities and beneficial procurement policies available on Burcote and ERG projects in Dumfries and Galloway.
Following the Breakfast event Burcote and ERG asked for local companies to complete a Company Information Request to register their interest in working on the Sandy Knowe development. Twenty local businesses from a range of industries across Dumfries & Galloway have now pre-registered and will be able to tender for contracts relating to the construction of Sandy Knowe Wind Farm. These companies, and indeed others within the local authority, will be able to take advantage of a 5% price advantage provided by the developers to Dumfries and Galloway based businesses when tendering for contracts on the wind farm.
In March last year Burcote and ERG received consent for the 24 turbine Sandy Knowe Wind Farm in Upper Nithsdale. Each turbine would have a tip height up to 125m, with the project having a total installed capacity of 48MW. As part of the application the companies offered a Community Benefit Fund (CBF) of up to £240,000 per year, up to approximately £6 million over the 25 year lifespan of the wind farm. They also agreed a substantial community ownership model with the local communities up to the equivalent of one turbine. This means that 4.17% of the net profits of the wind farm annually would be shared with the community.
Burcote and ERG are also proposing to develop the ten turbine Longburn Wind Farm near Carsphairn and the 17 turbine Creggan Wind Farm in Argyll and Bute and have committed to replicating their community benefit and procurement models at all of their projects.
The companies have also agreed an MoU with CS Wind, an Argyll & Bute based turbine tower manufacturer to work on each of Burcote’s projects in Scotland.
Fraser Campbell, Operations Director at Burcote Wind said:
“We would like to thank all the businesses for pre-registering in what is a clear indication that the local business community supports the steps we are taking to boost economic development opportunities in the region through our Sandy Knowe Wind Farm.”
“As a company we are committed to ensuring that our projects provide as much benefit as possible to both the local communities and the local economy. This is why we have committed to a preferential local procurement policy across all our Scottish projects, starting here in Dumfries and Galloway. The construction phase of the development alone could offer around 30-50 positions over a 12-18 month period, with a further 5-10 retained contractors during the operations and maintenance phase of the development.”
“We were delighted with the feedback from across the region and we now look forward to hopefully working with a number of these impressive local companies on our consented Sandy Knowe Wind Farm going forward.”
Brian Richardson, Chief Executive of Dumfries & Galloway Chamber of Commerce added:
“The Chamber welcomes the commitment of Burcote and ERG to providing a price advantage for local companies working with them in Dumfries & Galloway. This is a very positive and innovative model and is one which we fully support as we believe it is vitally important for developers to build a network of local contacts and provide as much local content as possible.”
Tom Barrie, Owner at local logistics company, Currie European:
“As a significant local employer we commend Burcote’s approach and especially welcome their commitment to a preferential local procurement policy. This could provide a real opportunity for Currie European and other Dumfries and Galloway based companies to establish mutually beneficial partnerships in the region and would protect the ability of local companies to compete within an increasingly challenging marketplace.”